Friday, July 2, 2010

Our Precious Time

I was helping my 7-year old granddaughter neatly print a return address on a letter we were getting ready to send. Before writing on the actual envelope, I had her practice writing it several times on another piece of paper, emphasizing how important it was that the printing was neat so the mail carrier could read it, explaining the purpose of the return address. As I complimented her on the good job she was doing and how the practicing had really helped, she exclaimed, “but it’s taking so much of my precious time when I could be playing.”

My granddaughter had a good point. Our time is precious. We all only have 24 hours in a day. How are we using our precious time? As I shared with my granddaughter, practicing and improving a skill is an excellent use of our precious time. For months or even years, I resisted learning how to use new technology. I just didn’t think I had time but finally I realized it was a really good use of my time to learn these new skills – that the benefits really outweigh the time it takes to learn them. In fact, I’ve come to realize that just having the mind-set to be willing to learn new things is a tremendous benefit in and of itself!

Improving ourselves and our skills does take a little more time initially but when you think about it, how much time do we waste just “spinning our wheels”, staying in the same old rut, making the same mistakes over and over again and not really getting anywhere? When we think we don’t have time to improve a skill, especially a relationship skill, what can we honestly say we are doing that is more important, that is more lasting, that is of more value? Yes, our time is precious and there are many good things we can be doing with our time but very few things, if any, are more important than improving and strengthening relationships.

My granddaughter was not wasting her precious time improving her printing skills. It was a good use of her time. It was also a good use of my time - supporting her, encouraging her and complimenting her. In fact, it was a magnificent use of my time!

How are you using your precious time?

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